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NREF Award Recipients Produce Success Stories

An award from the NREF can have an extraordinary impact on a career in neurosurgery.

Since 2008, the NREF Medical Student Summer Research Fellowships have been awarded to the brightest and most dedicated students, whose research projects are aimed at the better understanding, treatment, and prevention of neurological disorders and improved patient care. Offering this kind of cutting-edge training helps launch careers and ultimately produces success stories like this one:

Akop Seksenyan, PhD, received a Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship Grant from the NREF in 2017. His funded project, “Quantum Capacitance Based Amplified Graphene Phononics for Studying Neurodegenerative Diseases,” was accepted for publication in Applied Materials & Interfaces. He is a co-first author on the paper. The publication has created a lot of interest in the field and has been widely publicized in several news outlets. (

Dr. Seksenyan said of the research fellowship, “I want to thank [the NREF] for giving me the support and opportunity to work on this exciting project! I am truly grateful and honored to receive this award.”

Click here to read Dr. Seksenyan’s paper.

NREF is the Philanthropic Arm of the AANS

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